"A TRUE NOVELIST'S TRIUMPH": FIRST EDITION OF NELSON ALGREN'S AWARD-WINNING MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
ALGREN, Nelson. The Man with the Golden Arm. Garden City: Doubleday, 1949. Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $850.
First edition of Algren's explosive post-WWII masterpiece, "a uniquely compelling work, winner of the first National Book Award for fiction," basis for the 1955 Oscar-nominated film starring Frank Sinatra.
Hailed as "the finest American novel published since WWII" (Washington Post Book World), Algren's Man with the Golden Arm was praised by Time magazine as "a true novelist's triumph." Here, in his fierce unblinking tale of an addicted WWII veteran, "all the richness of Algren's craft and vision came together, and the result is a uniquely compelling work, winner of the first National Book Award for fiction" (Giles, Confronting the Horror, 56). Algren would recall rewriting his Pulitzer Prize-nominated book "'a dozen times,' with some sections passing through 40 drafts… His uncertain progress toward his masterpiece is perhaps indicated by the fact that it began as a war novel set in Marseilles… the drug-addiction angle that made the book something of a cause celebre came late into the story" (Horvath, Understanding Nelson Algren, 67). "Algren died broke in 1981 at the age of 72, not the first important writer who struggled to pay the rent, but his writing lives on… Asked to name the best American authors of his day, Hemingway is said to have replied: 'Faulkner. (Pause.) Algren'" (New York Times). Basis for the 1955 Oscar-nominated film by director Otto Preminger, starring Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli & Clark I:4.
Book very fresh and crisp, mild edge-wear, faint soiling to dust jacket. An about-fine copy.